AS SCENES go, it was as corny as they come: A sexy tai-tai in a bikini takes dip in pool and, oh, suffers a leg cramp.
Hunky Caucasian, who was conveniently within reach, fishes her out of the water and saves the day. Cliched? Never mind.
Ratings for that particular episode of Channel 8’s Housewives’ Holiday, which was shown last Friday, hit a ratings high of 977,000 – not bad for a television drama that was devoid of A-list stars.
Much of course, had to do with Ann Kok, who stripped down to the two-piece swimsuit and did the shot in one take.
Ann, 36, told The New Paper: “I have confidence in my figure. But I had never thought of wearing a bikini to increase the drama’s viewership ratings.
“Moreover, this is a household drama and not an R-rated show.”
The drama is about the lives of three housewives, played by veteran actresses Xiang Yun, Hong Huifang and Ann Kok.
Ann, however, admitted that when she was filming the scene at a hotel, she did feel slightly awkward.
This was because the camera crew and the hotel guests were all looking at her.
Incidentally, this wasn’t the first time the actress had worn a bikini on the small screen.
That would be in 2006 when she appeared in a variety show.
But Ann admitted that her well-endowed figure did earn her praises from Huifang and Xiang Yun.
“They are already mothers of two children (in real life), so of course my figure must be better than theirs,” she joked.
The MediaCorp actress reached the career peak in the 1990s with her sexy image and appearing a string of daring, revealing outfits.
Her infamous see-through, cleavage-showing top at the 1995 Star Awards still remains a talking point for many television viewers.
Mr Paul Chan, 40, vice-president of branding and promotions for Channel 8, told The New Paper that the 20-episode Housewives’ Holiday – which started showing on 4 Mar in the 9pm slot – received an average daily rating of close to a million viewers.
Mr Chan said: “This was much better than we expected. The lead actresses may not be our usual A-list stars, but all of the mare seasoned and good actresses.”
MrChan added that the light-hearted drama reflects real life and has a wide appeal.
He expected ratings for the final episode, which was shown last night, to reach a new high.
“All three lead actresses delivered what was expectedof them,” said Mr Chan.
This was especially so for Ann, who is the only single among the three leads in real life and was playing the role of a mother of two children, 12 and 15.
This alone had made her performance highly anticipated by viewers as they were waiting to see if she can pull off her character convincingly.
Ann said that this was undoubtedly “one of the most difficult roles” she has taken on so far.
“I don’t have the experience of being a wife or a mother, so yes, I must say it was quite tough to grasp the emotions at first,” she said.
Her character, Alice Zeng, is pompous, materialistic and clamours to be a tai-tai.
In her 16 years in the show business, this is the first time that Ann is playing an auntie.
She said: “I did feel pressured before filming started as I was afraid that I might not be able to carry the auntie character well.
“But it helped that I, Huifang and Xiang Yun have the right chemistry.”
The many praises she has received for her acting in this drama also has given her a boost of confidence and she relishes the challenges ahead.
“I’m prepared to act in more ‘auntie’ dramas in the future and wouldn’t mind playing an unglam auntie next time,”Ann said.
“But I do hope my company will see that I can still play the the character of a young single woman,” she laughed.
This article was first published in The New Paper.